Obreza caps senior season with CVA softball record, top achievement
ILION — By any measure, Madison Obreza’s senior year at Central Valley Academy has been impressive.
Obreza, a multi-sport athlete, finished her high school career with a single-season softball record. In the circle, she totaled 102 strikeouts in 90 innings pitched for the Thunder.
She also contributed at the plate. She finished with a .381 batting average, 24 hits, seven doubles, three home runs and 16 RBIs.
“I just wanted to do my best and leave it all out on the field,” Obreza said of CVA’s 9-8 season. “I just wanted to know that I gave it all in my last season. I wanted to try to leave the team better than I found it and build a strong team, which we didn’t have before.”
She’s also a key member of CVA’s soccer, basketball and unified bowling teams.
And, she’s CVA’s valedictorian – while taking CVA’s most difficult courses. She’s also involved with myriad other activities and clubs to assist her goals as she heads to Penn State University.
Here are five questions she answered for the Daily Sentinel:
You’re valedictorian. What does that achievement mean to you especially with all the activities and athletics you participate in?
It is a great honor, she said.
“I’m thankful to have a school that has given me the opportunities that it has,” Obreza said. “But, valedictorian doesn’t make me any more special any other kid in my class. I work hard and that’s what I look for in being able to share it with people, because being valedictorian wouldn’t mean anything if I didn’t have my family or friends supporting me through it all.”
Sports helped make her a better student, she said.
“Because I have to manage ‘oh, I have a game, (or) I have a practice and I have this essay to do,’” she said. “I think it really taught me to manage my time well. It set me up for the best possible future I am hopefully going to have.”
Among the sports you participate in, what area did you improve the most?
“My biggest goal wasn’t necessarily to have the softball record for strikeouts. I just really wanted to be the best leader for our team and give (teammates) someone to look up to and hopefully give them the ability to carry this out and have their senior year be even better,” she said. “… Every sport that I played, I just wanted to be a leader and know that I did my best. I wanted to leave the current players with someone to remember as a strong, kind person. I’m not just an athlete. I want them to remember me as someone who they looked up to and could talk to.”
Obreza said she’s always felt she’s a leader in classroom and athletics. Being a captain was “a big deal” and she “wanted to be someone that people looked up.”
What’s your favorite athletic memory from your senior year?
“My favorite soccer memory would be overtime (against Lowville) in sectionals. It was my last game on my home turf. That was just something that was really special to me,” she said. “It was through adversity that we were able to win. It definitely meant a lot.”
For basketball, “it is winning our senior night game against Mount Markham because they were undefeated.”
For softball, it is a win over Tri-Valley League power Camden at home in early May. “We came back after being down 6-0 (after two innings),” she said.
She also noted hitting the game-winning home run against Utica’s Thomas R. Proctor High School at the end of April.
You’re planning to attend Penn State. Are you planning to play sports?
She said she might try intramurals to stay active. However, she’s going to be part of an “accelerated medical program” for three years at Penn State “and then matriculate directly at Sidney Kimmel Medical College for the next four years.”
She said it will “be a demanding course load.”
“I want to be able to transition as best as possible. Penn State is also a major NCAA Division I school and I know my limits,” she said. “As much as I love sports … I think I have to move on and go into this next stage of my life while still trying to keep them in my life. It won’t be at a high level.”
She wants to have a focus on athletics and pediatrics with a goal of being an orthopedic surgeon.
Is there an athlete that you look up to? What stands out about them?
It is 2020 CVA graduate Reilly Rich, who is a member of Stony Brook’s NCAA Division I soccer team.
“Reilly is just a person that I’ve tried to look up to throughout my life. She really set a great example for me and showed me how important it is to go out your senior year with a bang,” Obreza said. “She really helped me get to be the person I am today.”
Obreza said she is proud to call Rich a friend.
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